I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Conversation Starter and Display Idea Courtesy of Author Gabino Iglesias

Click here to see original Tweet
and read responses
Wednesday, author and reviewer Gabino Iglesias asked this question on twitter:
Which book would you like to go on a date with if it became a person?
I immediately retweeted this to library land with the following comment:
"Attn Libraries- This is a great conversation starter with patrons. Or ask your staff and make a display. Puts a new spin on the staff rec shelf. You might get more staff to participate this way too."
Both because I only had a small space in order to explain myself and because I know many of you aren't on Twitter, I wanted to explore this idea further on the blog today. There are two distinct ways you could use this prompt. The first is easy, it makes a great conversation starter with patrons.

We all know that asking people to tell us about a book that they read and enjoyed works fine, but let's be honest, we are all bored of that same old question-- us and the patrons. And shaking it up with the "tell me about a book you did not enjoy." isn't the answer either. Been there, done that, times infinity.

I alway try to suggest more interesting conversation starters here on the blog and in my training programs. You can click here to see a few examples. But this question- Which book would you like to go on a date with if it became a person?-- is perfect. First, it is outside the box in terms of what we usually ask, so it will get our patrons' attention. Second, it really makes the patrons think about both the title and their answer, thus revealing what kind of book they truly enjoy. Third, it is about dating but is inclusive of all sexualities and genders because a book is nongendered. I love it!

The second reason I loved this question is because it would be a great way to shake up our staff and energize them about participating in a staff recommendation display. Many libraries have these but many also put up barriers to who can participate. Often I encounter libraries where only the staff of the particular department where the shelf resides can participate, or I have also seen only public service or professional employees being allowed to participate.

Here's the thing, when we allow all staff, from janitors and pages all the way up to the director, to participate in staff recommendation displays, by default our displays becomes more inclusive. When we include more voices in the process, we get a wider range of outcomes. And because support staff are less white than librarians, we are including more diverse voices.

However, I often hear library staff tell me that they have asked all staff to participate in staff recommendation displays, but only a few ever try. Well, some of this is because many support staff feel like they don't know how to start or don't feel comfortable. Back in January I had this post where I talked about how you can encourage everyone on staff to participate by lower the barrier to enter.

But also, we ask staff to give us "favorites" and even though we try to be nonjudgmental, many staff are afraid to admit a favorite if it isn't high brow enough, so instead, they choose not to participate.

So that's where Gabino's questions comes in. If instead of asking staff to pass on their "favorites," we change it up and have each staff recommendation display be an answer to a question, you are pretty much insuring high participation and more interesting titles to put out on display. When the question is silly, you will get fun answers.

Finally, when you use a conversation starter prompt for a display, you can also make the display interactive. Put up the question and add staff answers with physical books. Identify who answered with which title if you want or just say that the display contains the staff's answers. But either way, you should also put out slips of paper for patrons to write down their answers to drop in a basket or box. And then, as the box fills up, grab those titles and put them on display with a tag that says "patron pick."

I love this idea so much. I hope someone tries it. If you do try it, let me know

Thanks Gabino for putting that question out into the universe.

And I will end here with my answer to this questions, but anyone who knows me even a little can probably guess the answer...

It's RIVER OF TEETH, of course! By Sarah Gailey. It's an all out adventure with amazing, interesting, and eccentric characters who seem super fun and...wait for it....there'd be HIPPOS! Yup, that one was easy. Sounds like a super fun night out to me.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Unlocking Themes To Improve Your Readers' Advisory: Repost and Reminder

In the last few weeks, the idea of using themes in tandem with appeal as we help readers to find the best book for them has come up numerous times, and I have been mentioning to people to watch my webinar with NoveList on this topic from last Fall.

Since it has come up in so frequently, I figured it was time to repost the link so all of you can. view it.

Below [or here] you can find the recording and the link to my live slides. And I have checked the links and they all still work.

Please note, you do not have to have access to NoveList in order to learn from this presentation, but if you do want a free trial, contact me and I will have a rep contact you.


Recording and Live Linked Slides from Unlocking Themes Webinar

Thanks to everyone who attended the NoveList webinar yesterday.

And as promised, in less than 24 hours, NoveList has uploaded the recording and the link to the slides.  Now to be fair, the animations where I built images on top of each other don't work with that link, but you can have the full experience the way it was in the recording by using this link to view my presentation on your own.

For those who are new to a Becky style of presentation, I include many links to articles by me where I go into greater detail on the topic of that slide. So by viewing the live, linked slides, you can explore topics that are of the most interest to you in greater detail, and ignore the detail on the things that don't apply to you.

Click here or see below to watch the webinar and get your attendance certificate.

Event Date: September 18, 2018

Webinar: Unlocking Themes to Improve Your Readers’ Advisory

From Rookie on the Beat to Secret Babies, there are dozens of themes that your readers adore. Let RA expert Becky Spratford and metadata maven Cathleen Keyser show you how adding themes to your RA toolbox can supercharge your readers’ advisory, circulation, and programming.
We welcome anyone interested to stay for an additional 15-minute training to help you find all those great themes (and the books that go with them) in NoveList.

This webinar is archived.

Click below to watch the recording or skip ahead to the training session that took place after the webinar.

Watch Now
Click to view


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Resource Alert: LJ's 2019 BEA Galley Guide is Even Better For Those Left Behind

One of our best collection development resources is the Library Journal Galley Guides which Barbara Hoffert compiles for every major conference. Here is the hot off the presses one for BEA 2019 which begins next week.

Here's a secret, I think this guide is actually more useful to those of us who aren't at the conference than those who are going. Why? Well, when people are there in person, most use it simply to find out which galleys are going to be given out when and who is signing where. Honestly, when you are there all you use it for is to run around and stand in line and I am on the record saying that running around trying to get free books and wait in long lines is not a good use of your time.

But, those of us who are back at home, we have time to go through the Galley Guide, taking note of which books the publishers are pushing the hardest. What do they think will take off? What should we be pre-ordering. We actually use it as a resource to help our patrons and craft our collections.

Everyone, whether they are attending BEA or not, should look through the guide and note trends, authors who you already have in your collections who are going to have a new book, etc... For example, in this guide, I have noticed a lot of self help titles and true crime. Obviously this is not a shock that these topics are popular, but it serves as a reminder that now is a great time to put up those displays and then also include a handout or book mark with upcoming titles from this Galley Guide that readers may also like. Remind them of what you already have that would be great to read right now AND alert them to what is around the corner on which they might want to place a hold. Make the buzz of new books work for your backlist collections.

You can also make displays based on what you learn from going through the guide even though not a single one of these books is out yet. I'll help you get started. Make a display titled-- "Coming in 2019 By...." and put out books by some of the big names with books coming out as noted in the guide. Make sure you also offer a handout with their new titles where patrons can check off those they want to place on hold. This is a display that is easy to put up and keep filled and it is interactive for your patrons because they get a book now and get to tell you what they want later.

Or do a "Read While You Wait," version of the display, again having a handout or book mark with upcoming titles from this Galley Guide that fans of those authors may want to put on hold. Also by default this display will be diverse and inclusive because you aren't limiting it by genre, format, fiction vs nonfiction, etc... The display will and should include anything and everything because anything and everything is already in the Galley Guide.

And, another benefit, a display as broad as this one higjights the breath of your collections. For example, have you ever had literary fiction authors, travel books, nonfiction history, romance and sf on the same display? But, I would also bet that more readers than you think have read and enjoyed all fo these types os books. I know I have.

So stop being sad you are not at BEA, and start using the resources being created by the conference to serve your patrons better right now. Your colleagues in NYC will have to catch up to you when they get back.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visits Missouri State Library for Booktalking

This morning I will be presenting Booktalking Your Way to the Friendliest Library in Town for the Missouri State Library.

You can click here or below to access the slides which include 2 examples prepared book talks, 1 with a script and one recording of me giving a book talk. Remember, like everything I do, there is still access for those of you who cannot be there with me.

I love giving this talk and it is a great example of the type of programs I provide. While the slides only change a little bit now and then, what I say in this talk is always different. I have given this talk 7 [counting today] times in the first 5 months of the year and I guarantee you, it is never the same.

Click here for slide access

Monday, May 20, 2019

Entertainment Weekly is the Pop Culture Resource You Need to Read and Talk About at Work

I say it in my in-person appearances but it bears repeating here, especially the day after a HUGE pop culture viewing event. [Don't worry, you will find no Game of Thrones spoilers in this post.]

The best thing you can do to be better at your job of helping people with their leisure reads and watches is to page through Entertainment Weekly every week or at least check the website once a day.

In our jobs the most important thing we can do to help our patrons as they come to the library for their leisure needs is to know what is popular and why. This is the entire mission of EW. Who knows better than a company that sells a product to connect with the public through their entrainment choices, what people want to know about?

Yes you need to know what is popular, but EW also delves into the why. They pay writers to write about the things that are popular in our country from TV to movies to books. And they cover it all really well. Since there is money involved, we can be confident that the topics they are covering are large scale enough that we should know about them.

None of us will be fans of everything that is popular, nor should we have to be. But, we do need to know what is popular and why at all times if we want to help people with their leisure needs, and following EW online and in print gives you a sense of that. It keeps you in the know without having to put in a lot of extra effort.

During times of huge media events like the GoT finale is the perfect for reminding people about this. You do not have to have viewed or even like GoT, but you [1] absolutely cannot disparage it to others [first rule of RA Service] and [2] need to know why others do love it. I had this post on GoT and its appeal, but I am one person. Now look at EW's coverage: Even if you don't watch the show, you can go online and find this portal of every piece they have written on the show, from summaries of every episode to think pieces on the series and everything in between. There it all is for you to see. The print magazine will have the highlights but online you can fall down the GoT rabbit hole and begin to understand why many of our patrons love it, again, without ever watching any of it.

But here is the thing, they do this to scale for everything. From large events to small things that take over the pop culture consciousness. You do not have to be "cool" or even stay on top of everything yourself. Let EW do it for you.

However, and here is the part I am publishing for you to show your supervisors, you should be able to read EW at the desk at work. In fact, I would argue that your library should be adding a copy for staff along with the one that circulates for patrons. Even better, my library has EW offered on the Flipster app so every employee has free access to every issue with their library card.

The key here isn't the paying for another subscription, it is the understanding that reading EW by ALL library staff, but especially those who work with the public is a key resource to being as helpful as possible to the widest range of patrons.

So if you are an administrator or supervisor, encourage your staff to bookmark EW.com and look at it during work time. And, this next step is important, encourage staff to talk about what they read on the site out loud to each other, at the desk. Obviously, only in a positive way. Have them talk about what they see there, why it is so popular, and what we have in our collections that would appeal to fans of these popular things.

Again, it is that last step that is key. Allowing staff to talk about pop culture things and relate them to our collections is an advertisement for the fact that we know about what is popular and promotes that we are willing to help our patrons make those connections though our collections. This is what we do and EW is a resource that can help us do it better.

I have had mixed results with this message as I travel the country. I have had some administrators tell me that staff should never look at entertainment sites at work. Obviously this is completely misguided since we circulate all of the things they talk about in EW. But I have also had libraries report that they have added print copies of EW for all service desks-- and everything in between.

No matter the culture or rules at your library, figure out a way to read EW and start being a pop culture wiz even if you think you aren't cool enough. Let them do the work for you. And like with all of our Readers' Advisory work, if it is something you consume and like yourself, make sure you pay closer attention because you need to know the larger picture view of everything.

Now go off and focus on some pop culture as part of your job. It is imperative.

Friday, May 17, 2019

What I'm Reading: Growing Things by Paul Tremblay

The current issue of Booklist has my star review of this book. As usual, I have reprinted the longer draft version here on the blog and have included my "Three Words" and further appealinformation to help you to hand sell it to patrons even if you haven't read it yourself.

Growing Things and Other Stories.

 Tremblay, Paul (author). July 2019. 352p. Morrow, $25.99 (9780062679130)
REVIEW. First published May 15, 2019 (Booklist).
“Icky and morbid, yes, but that’s kind of what I do,” states a very self aware Tremblay [The Cabin at The End of the World] in the notes section for his new collection of 19 stories, two of which are brand new. This volume showcases why he is so popular with a wide range of readers. Brilliantly taking ordinary situations [a summer’s day at the local pond, an author reading, AP History class, a family vacation], Tremblay seamlessly sprinkles in a sense of unease that quickly builds to tension, climbs to overwhelming dread, and finally leaves readers at the story’s end with a sense of pure horror, a horror that seeps into their skin and lingers even as they turn the page to start the next story. “Notes From the Dog Walker,” a brand new story and one of three that is directly connected to Tremblay’s previous novels, is the among the most impressive here. Told in a series of messages left by the various dog walkers to the owner begins innocently literal, slowly becoming odd, moving to awkward, and ultimately spiraling into intense discomfort all while also thoughtfully breaking down the current state of horror fiction and connecting the universes of Tremblay’s own recent novels. Readers need not know anything about Tremblay’s previous work to enjoy these stories, however.  All are anchored by a strong narrative voice, be it first person or omniscient, which expertly guide the reader through the extremely dark emotions Tremblay is invoking, smoothing out what could be a very bumpy ride and making the journey into the terrifying depths of darkness an enjoyable reading experience. These are stories that live in the increasing popular space between literary fiction and horror, where speculative terrors and very real universal truths collide much like the works of Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, and Jac Jemc.

Further Appeal: I cannot stress enough how immersive these stories are. They lull you into complacency with what seems like an ordinary situation, and even though you know better, both because you know Tremblay is an award winning horror writer and because the undercurrent of dread and unease is there from the star. Then they build deliberately but you are also enjoying the reading experience, so part of your brain ignores the warnings wanting to keep turning the pages, but your body can feel the coming terror. And then, just seconds before your brain catches up to your body....you get walloped. But here's the thing. You finish the story, take a breath, and want to dive right back in. I am not sure how he does it, but it works, every. single. time. Novels and stories.

Instead of listing stories and giving you a summary [I could only fit one in the review] I am going to let you discover each but here are some [vague and out of order] notes about some of my favorites [and why I loved them]. There is a life changing family vacation story, told through snapshots that perfectly encapsulates what I just wrote in the paragraph above, a story about an author reading that shook me emotionally but also gave me a lot to think about, a take on a choose your own adventure haunted house story that is also an emotional tale about family and regrets, a straight up Lovecraftian homage, an unsettling day at the local swimming hole, and the title story which is a satisfying read for A Head Full of Ghosts fans but also would be fun for new fans.

    Also, I should note that there are author notes on the stories in the back. I read each note after finishing each story and all enhanced my reading experience. In the entire collection, there was only one story I did not care for, but that was more me and what I like. There was nothing wrong with it as a story, and the author's note made me appreciate it more.

    The most defining thing about Tremblay's horror writing is that he builds worlds filled with dread and the possibility of a supernatural reason for the terror you feel, but you can also find a way to explain the horrors in a 100% realistic way. I think this is why he is so popular. 

    His writing is stellar with thought provoking plot lines and and strong characters [who even if not one of the "good" guys you still feel some sympathy for them], but also the voice through which he tells each story, draws you in and takes over in your brain.

    Three Words That Describe This Book: strong narrative voice, uncomfortable, thought provoking

    Readalikes: Besides the three I wrote above, other authors I would suggest are Laird Barron [one story is an homage to him], Nadia Bulkin's She Said Destroy, Nick Mamatas' The People's Republic of Everything and Samanta Schweblin.

    Thursday, May 16, 2019

    RA for All Roadshow Visits Erie [PA] County Public Library

    Today I am visiting Erie [PA] County Public Library to provide a two-tiered training. First, in the morning the library will be closed from 9-1 so that I can do an all staff training and team building.

    Then, second, after lunch, I am going to work with targeted staff including a Q & A session where I can help them work through their local needs and concerns.

    Here is the plan for today and the links to all of the slides and resources for all to access, near or far.

    For all staff:
    9:30-10:50 am: RA for All: Readers Advisory belongs in every library, no matter its budget. The implementation of this vital service is the responsibility of every staff member-- from pages to directors, from those behind the scenes to the ones on the front lines. This program will remove the mystery behind providing great RA service. Using her “Ten Rules of Basic RA Service” as a guide, Becky Spratford will use your own love of your favorite books to show you how to help any patron find their next great read. It's not as hard as you think. But more importantly, you will learn why a staff that can harness the power of sharing a great read will become a stronger team and improve service to all patrons.

    10 Min Break
    11am- 12 pm: Booktalking Your Way to the Friendliest Library in Town: Booktalking is at the heart of what we do with patrons each and every day at the public library. Whether we are sharing books informally at the services desk, presenting a prepared list of books, or posting information online, talking about books is something we do each and every day. It is a core service, but it is also hard to teach. Booktalking is more of an art than a skill, but with the right guidance and some practice, it can go a long way toward engaging your patrons and re-energizing your staff. Join experienced Readers’ Advisory Becky Spratford as she shares the secret behind delivering great book talks, giving you tips and tricks you can begin using right away to hone your own skills. Rediscover the power and joy that comes from sharing books with patrons.

    LUNCH 12-1
    Return for targeted staff
    1-2:30 pm Demystifying Genre: Nothing is scarier than trying to help a fan of a genre you yourself don’t enjoy. You want to help that, for example, Romance reader find the perfect book, but you are having trouble knowing where to begin because...eek!... you don’t read Romance. You are afraid they will find out you are a fraud. How can YOU possibly help THEM?!? Never fear, in this program, Readers’ Advisory expert, Becky Spratford, will teach you the basic appeals of the major genres, give you the inside track on what a fan of that genre is most drawn to, and provide you with talking points to get your genres readers to tell you what they want. You will leave this session with the confidence and skill to help fans of every genre, regardless of whether or not you have ever read a book in that genre yourself. And that will leave a trail of happy patrons in your wake.
    Although we didn't do the Staying in Genre Shape presentation, I am linking it here for reference.

    15 Min Break
    2:45-3:30 pm: Ask Becky Anything: Now is your chance to ask RA expert Becky Spratford anything about how to work with leisure readers. What are your fears, frustrations, and obstacles. Here are some examples of questions that have come up in this session previously:

    • What is Your Biggest Genre Fear?
    • What’s Your Favorite Resource for Your Least Favorite Genre
    • How many books do you present a patron with?
    • What Are Your Best Time Saving RA Tips?
    • Good Sources For Readalikes For #OwnVoices Books?
    • What Is The Genre You Wish Was Read More At Your Library? What Are You Doing To Try To Fix This?
    • What Is The Best Way To Train Staff Who Know RA Basics But Lack Confidence?
    • What Do You Do When The Patron Has No Clue What They Want To Read Even After 10 Leading Questions? And How To Handle The “I Like Everything” Patron? Or The Patron Who Wants a “Good Story” But Refuses To Elaborate?
    • How Do You Deal With Impatience and Disappointment When Books Are Not Immediately Available?

    Wednesday, May 15, 2019

    Library Reads: June 2019

    Today is Library Reads day and that means three things here on RA for All:
    1. I post the list and tag it “Library Reads” so that you can easily pull up every single list with one click.
    2. I can remind you that even though the newest list is always fun to see, it is the older lists where you can find AWESOME, sure bet suggestions for patrons that will be on your shelf to actually hand to them right now. The best thing about Library Reads is the compound interest it is earning. We now have hundreds and hundreds of titles worth suggesting right at our fingertips.
    3. You have no excuse not to hand sell any Library Reads titles because there is a book talk right there in the list in the form of the annotation one of your colleagues wrote for you. All you have to say to your patron is, “such and such library worker in blank state thought this was a great read,” and then you read what he or she said.
      ***NEW*** Also, the Library Reads Board has also started another great book discovery and suggestion tool for you, a monthly What We're Reading column. This means there are even more library worker approved titles, new and old, for you to choose from. ***NEW*** 

      So get out there and suggest a good read to someone today. I don’t care what list or resource you use to find the suggestion, just start suggesting books.

      Also, please remember to click here for my Library Reads 101 recap for everything you need to know about how to participate. And click here to see a database of eligible diverse titles sorted by month. 

      June 2019 LibraryReads

      Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel

      by Linda Holmes

      Published: 6/25/2019 by Ballantine Books
      ISBN: 9780525619246
      “Relationships are hard, whether with a spouse, a best friend, a new love interest, or ourselves. Evvie navigates all of these after a life-changing series of events. An engaging novel that explores relationship nuances without being too dark or too cutesy. For fans of Jenny Colgan, Cecilia Ahern, and Sophie Kinsella.”
      Maribeth Fisher, Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains, NJ 
      NoveList Read-alike: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

      Ayesha at Last

      by Uzma Jalaluddin

      Published: 6/4/2019 by Berkley
      ISBN: 9781984802798
      “Ayesha puts aside dreams of poetry and works in Toronto as a teacher to repay debts to her family. A deep-rooted family trauma ties Khalid to his controlling mother and gives him a rigid understanding of the world. Can these two young Muslims forge a healing path? A sweet modern romance perfect for readers of The Wedding Date and The Kiss Quotient.”
      Ariel Yang, Forest Grove City Library, Forest Grove, OR 
      Novelist Read-alike: The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

      Call Your Daughter Home: A Novel

      by Deb Spera

      Published: 6/11/2019 by Park Row
      ISBN: 9780778307747
      “Three strong women support each other through tough times in 1924 South Carolina. Gertrude, Retta, and Annie unite against injustice in their small town in this beautifully written story in which time and place come to life. For readers who enjoyed The Twelve Tribes of Hattie and The Invention of Wings.”
      Suzy Card, Grapevine Library, Grapevine, TX 
      NoveList Read-alike: The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
      City of Girls: A Novel

      by Elizabeth Gilbert

      Published: 6/4/2019 by Riverhead
      ISBN: 9781594634734
      “Free-spirited Vivian recounts her life, focusing on her formative years in the 1940s. Nineteen and new to NYC, she became the costumer for her aunt’s struggling theater company. Colorful characters, misadventures, triumphs, and trials populate this fun, frolicking read. For fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
      Sonia Reppe, Stickney-Forest View Public Library, Stickney, IL
      NoveList Read-alike: The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard by Erin McGraw

      Fix Her Up: A Novel

      by Tessa Bailey

      Published: 6/11/2019 by Avon
      ISBN: 9780062872838
      “After her brother’s best friend (and her longtime crush) Travis is injured, Georgie makes it her goal to bring him back to the land of the living. When he needs help cleaning up his wild image, she is happy to help…and maybe score some action on the side. A funny, endearing, and spicy romance. For readers of Christina Lauren.”
      Jessica Batten, Marion County Public Library System, WV 
      NoveList Read-alike: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

      Kingdom of Exiles

      by Maxym M. Martineau

      Published: 6/25/2019 by Sourcebooks Landmark
      ISBN: 9781492689386
      “An epic fantasy love story that hooks readers from the beginning with its expert world-building. The characters are skillfully crafted, realistic and sympathetic. Readers will look forward to continuing the journey in this new series. For fans of Whims of Fae by Nissa Leder and Blood Oath by Raye Wagner.”
      Leanna Frankland, New York Public Library, New York, NY
      NoveList Read-alike: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

      Magic for Liars: A Novel

      by Sarah Gailey

      Published: 6/4/2019 by Tor Books
      ISBN: 9781250174611
      “A blend of fantasy and murder mystery. Magic meets noir, throw in some romance and some witty dialog and you have a great pick for summer reading. For fans of Jasper Fforde and the Charley Davidson novels.”
      Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH 
      NoveList Read-alike: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

      Mrs. Everything: A Novel

      by Jennifer Weiner

      Published: 6/11/2019 by Atria Books
      ISBN: 9781501133480
      “A sweeping story about sisters Jo and Bethie, following them from their 1950s roots in Detroit to the present day. This novel is both heartwrenching and funny, and readers will cry and laugh with them along the journey. For fans of Juliet McDaniel’s Mr. and Mrs. American Pie.
      Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twisnburg, OH
      NoveList Read-alike: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

      Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

      by Roselle Lim

      Published: 6/11/2019 by Berkley
      ISBN: 9781984803252
      “Natalie inherits her grandmother’s restaurant in quickly-gentrifying Chinatown in San Francisco. A tea leaf reading tells Natalie she must cook three recipes from her Grandmother’s cookbook for her neighbors who are being pushed out in order for the restaurant to succeed. For fans of The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship and Like Water for Chocolate.
      Meghan Marong, Lackawanna Public Library, Scranton, NY 
      NoveList Read-alike: Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

      Recursion: A Novel

      by Blake Crouch

      Published: 6/11/2019 by Crown
      ISBN: 9781524759780
      “Compelling and accessible to the non-science-fiction reader. It is a suspenseful, thought-provoking book about altered memories, and how technology can be used for good, or for ill, or should never be used at all. For fans of Michael Crichton.”
      Will Harbauer, Toledo Library, Toledo, OH 
      NoveList Read-alike: Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

      Tuesday, May 14, 2019

      RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visits the Library Journal Course on Evaluating, Auditing, and Diversifying Your Collections

      Today is the final day of the aforementioned Library Journal multi-week course, and I am kicking off today's schedule with my presentation: From Reading Diversely to Buying Diversely: Collection Development and RA for the Inclusive Librarian.

      I only have 30 minutes for this complicated topic today, but I am developing a similar program which will be 1 hour that I can give in person or as a webinar. That one is slightly different and will be called "#OwnVoices for All Readers: Incorporating EDI Values into Readers’ Advisory Service." Here is the description of that longer program.

      Providing robust readers’ advisory service that values equity, diversity and inclusion principles is essential to all library service. Join Readers’ Advisory specialist Becky Spratford as she provides the information you need to diversify your suggestions, identify resources, and include more staff input in order to confidently promote and place more #OwnVoices titles into adult patrons’ hands. You’ll come away with an understanding for how easy it to incorporate EDI values into your normal RA practices. All you need is a little nudge in the right direction.
       So if you are intrigued by this topic, contact me for more information. I am anticipating that this talk will become part of my standard programming beginning this Fall.

      In the meantime, the live slides from today's presentation are available to all and are filled with links to longer pieces by me to help you get started.

      Click here for slide access

      Monday, May 13, 2019

      Using Awards Lists as a RA Tool: Bram Stoker Awards Edition

      I am freshly back from StokerCon where I participated in handing out the Bram Stoker Awards [I gave out First Novel to the author I also voted for in that category].

      I will have a few much longer posts about StokerCon on the horror blog in the next week to ten days, but for now, remember the RA for All mantra about Awards lists being one of our best RA Tools because we can use them for collection development, suggestions, displays, and to keep ourselves in genre shape. All of that in 1 resource every single time an award is given out.

      So if you haven't thought about horror since October [well, shame on you, it is super popular], now is your chance to get up to speed. Also remember there is an entire website for the Bram Stoker Awards where you can easily look at all nominees and winners, as well as a Libraries section on the HWA's website which also features many more lists and links including this recommended reading page.

      2018 Bram Stoker Award Winners & Nominees

      The Horror Writers Association is proud to congratulation the winners and nominees of the 2018 Bram Stoker Awards for superiority. The presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards® occurred during the 4th annual StokerCon™, held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The gala presentation happened on Saturday night, May 11th. The awards presentation was also live-streamed online and will be available for viewing within a few days on the HWA Youtube channel.
      Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior achievement in writing in eleven categories, including traditional works of various lengths, poetry, screenplays, and non-fiction. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman. 
      We proudly provide the list of talented nominees who reached the final ballot below for each category. For a list of past winners and nominees, visit TheBramStokerAwards.com.

      Superior Achievement in a Novel

        Winner: Tremblay, Paul – The Cabin at the End of the World (William Morrow)
        Katsu, Alma – The Hunger (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
        Maberry, Jonathan – Glimpse (St. Martin’s Press)
        Malerman, Josh – Unbury Carol (Del Rey)
        Stoker, Dacre and Barker, J.D. – Dracul (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

      Superior Achievement in a First Novel

        Winner: Kiste, Gwendolyn – The Rust Maidens (Trepidatio Publishing)
        Fine, Julia – What Should Be Wild (Harper)
        Grau, T.E. – I Am the River (Lethe Press)
        Stage, Zoje – Baby Teeth (St. Martin’s Press)
        Tremblay, Tony – The Moore House (Twisted Publishing)

      Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

        Winner: White, Kiersten – The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Delacorte Press)
        Ireland, Justina – Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray)
        Legrand, Claire – Sawkill Girls (Katherine Tegen Books)
        Maberry, Jonathan – Broken Lands (Simon & Schuster)
        Snyman, Monique – The Night Weaver (Gigi Publishing)

      Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

        Winner: LaValle, Victor – Victor LaValle’sDestroyer (BOOM! Studios)
        Ahmed, Saladin – Abbott (BOOM! Studios)
        Azzarello, Brian – Moonshine Vol. 2: Misery Train (Image Comics)
        Bunn, Cullen – Bone Parish (BOOM! Studios)
        Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 3: Haven (Image Comics)

      Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

        Winner: Mason, Rena – The Devil’s Throat (Hellhole: An Anthology of Subterranean Terror) (Adrenaline Press)
        Bailey, Michael – Our Children, Our Teachers (Written Backwards)
        Hill, Joe – You Are Released (Flight or Fright: 17 Turbulent Tales) (Scribner)
        Malik, Usman T. – Dead Lovers on Each Blade, Hung (Nightmare Magazine Issue #74)
        Smith, Angela Yuriko – Bitter Suites (CreateSpace)

      Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

        Winner: Landry, Jess – “Mutter” (Fantastic Tales of Terror) (Crystal Lake Publishing)
        Murray, Lee – “Dead End Town”(Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 2) (IFWG Publishing International)
        Neugebauer, Annie – “Glove Box” (The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine Volume 3, Issue 4-July 2018)
        Taff, John F.D. – “A Winter’s Tale” (Little Black Spots) (Grey Matter Press)
        Ward, Kyla Lee – “And in Her Eyes the City Drowned” (Weirdbook #39) (Wildside Press)

      Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

        Winner: Guignard, Eric J. – That Which Grows Wild (Cemetery Dance Publications)
        Files, Gemma – Spectral Evidence (Trepidatio Publishing)
        Iglesias, Gabino – Coyote Songs (Broken River Books)
        Snyder, Lucy A. – Garden of Eldritch Delights (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
        Waggoner, Tim – Dark and Distant Voices: A Story Collection (Nightscape Press)

      Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

        Winner: Averill, Meredith – The Haunting of Hill House: The Bent-Neck Lady, Episode 01:05 (Amblin Television, FlanaganFilm, Paramount Television)
        Aster, Ari – Hereditary (PalmStar Media)
        Garland, Alex – Annihilation (DNA Films, Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, Skydance Media)
        Heisserer, Eric – Bird Box (Bluegrass Films, Chris Morgan Productions, Universal Pictures)
        Woods, Bryan, Beck, Scott, and Krasinski, John – A Quiet Place (Platinum Dunes, Sunday Night)

      Superior Achievement in an Anthology

        Winner: Datlow, Ellen – The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea (Night Shade Books)Datlow, Ellen – The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea (Night Shade Books)
        Chambers, James, Grey, April, and Masterson, Robert – A New York State of Fright: Horror Stories from the Empire State (Hippocampus Press)
        Guignard, Eric J. – A World of Horror (Dark Moon Books)
        Murray, Lee – Hellhole: An Anthology of Subterranean Terror (Adrenaline Press)
        Ward, D. Alexander – Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road (Crystal Lake Publishing)

      Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

        Winner: Mynhardt, Joe and Johnson, Eugene – It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life (Crystal Lake Publishing)
        Connolly, John – Horror Express (PS Publishing)
        Gambin, Lee – The Howling: Studies in the Horror Film (Centipede Press)
        Ingham, Howard David – We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide to Folk Horror (Room 207 Press)
        Wetmore Jr., Kevin J. – Uncovering Stranger Things: Essays on Eighties Nostalgia, Cynicism and Innocence in the Series (McFarland)

      Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

        Winner: Tantlinger, Sara – The Devil’s Dreamland (Strangehouse Books)
        Boston, Bruce – Artifacts (Independent Legions Publishing)
        Cowen, David E. – Bleeding Saffron (Weasel Press)
        Lynch, Donna – Witches (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
        Simon, Marge and Manzetti, Alessandro – War (Crystal Lake Publishing)

      Specialty Press Award

        Awarded to Raw Dog Screaming Press, Jennifer Barnes and John Edward Lawson.

      Mentor of the Year Award

        Awarded to J.G. Faherty.

      Silver Hammer Award

        Awarded to Jess Landry for excellent service to the organization.

      Richard Laymon President’s Award

        Awarded to Brad Hodson for excellent service to the organization.